Archive for Wednesday, December 13, 2000

Frankly, I love the cold

December 13, 2000

The glittering crystalline ornaments mirroring sunlight in the early morning cold have shattered my resolve to be a Scrooge, for now. With her bone-chilling breath of arctic winter, Mother Nature has allowed her northern daughter to dance winsomely through the heartland sprinkling icy diamonds across the landscape. Beside her, cape billowing in the wind, prances a young Winter filled with frolic and capricious flirtations with sunlight and warmth. For me, the Spirit of Christmas follows closely behind.

I grew up in snow country. Western New York, South Dakota and Wyoming are not tropical climates after Halloween. The Southern Tier of Western New York is so Currier and Ives as to be almost unbelievable. Deep falls of snow were painted in soft luminescent highlights from the Christmas decorations after evening wrapped the area in its sequined cloak. Snowball wars after school, sledding and building snowmen when the snow was wet all were the preludes to the Christmas holidays. My family made popcorn balls, fudge by the ton, and peanut brittle that seldom lasted until New Year's Day. Mom baked and iced cookies, made her infamous white fruitcake, and told us constantly to either stay in or stay out, but stop dragging snow into the kitchen. Christmas and snow just go together for me.

Christmas morning was always started with building up the fire, chopping wood for the stoves, often doing the chores at whichever relative's farm we were camping during the Christmas festivities. On many Christmases, if Santa hadn't arrived around mid-night, he would have been put to work milking cows or helping Grandma get breakfast started. Nothing is more like Christmas to me than coming in from the sub-zero weather to be assailed by the smells of biscuits in the oven, bacon and sausage frying on the stove and hot chocolate and coffee waiting for us. The heat from the wood stoves was almost oppressive after being outside.

I have spent years and years when Christmas was paired with temperatures better suited to going to the beach instead of bundling up and pulling out the sled. South Florida, Panama and Southeast Asia are places that make a Northern boy really feel out of place when the Thanksgiving turkey initiates the holiday season. It doesn't matter that the same music plays in stores, snowflakes line the streets and the traditional fur tree is shipped in from the upper latitudes, Christmas just isn't Christmas without the snow.

During my years in the tropics, my early morning Christmas musings always went back to the sights and smells of those cold, wintry Christmases in the North. It may have been during this exile from the snow that Scrooge became my alter-ego during this season of the year.

Knowing the area, this snap of cold and snow is not a guarantee of a white Christmas. It is conceivable that it will be 60 degrees on Christmas day. I won't like it much if that happens, but at least for now, the weather is proving to be more than a match for the humbugs. So, before I have a relapse, let me wish all of you a very Merry Christmas. God bless us everyone.


Dec. 11-15 Holiday Lights judging

Dec. 25-26 Office closed for Christmas Holiday.

Jan. 1 Office closed for New Year Holiday.

Jan. 6 Youth Basketball Clinic at Baker 9:00 a.m.

Jan. 13 First games for the basketball season

Basketball Teams have been selected: The coaches have make arrangements for practices and we are working on the schedules. We should have all of that finalized by early next week. Looking forward to a great season. Thanks in advance for all your hard work.

Holiday Lights Contest: We will again be judging and awarding a bit of the cool green for your holiday lights. I am hoping that we will be better able to take pictures of the winners for inclusion in the paper at a later date. The USD 348 newsletter outlines the areas in which we will award prizes. Help make our community a more picturesque place by doing your part. There's a hundred bucks in it to help pay for the electricity.

Monte the Dancing Bear loving the cold and snow. Baldwin City Recreation Commission; 820 High Street; Phone, 594-3670; e-mail,

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